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How to Add Unique Meta Tags in WordPress

Ok, Justin Timberlake may be bringing sexy back, but I’m bringing meta tags back. Before you start leaving comments about how irrelevant meta tags are, just know that I do agree. I don’t know if all search engines agree though.

WordPress may indeed be the absolute best blogging platform and CMS available, but theme designers often miss crucial elements that allow your WordPress blog to be fully SEO’d.

In order to add effective meta tags to your WordPress blog, open up your header.php (or whatever the header file is called) for the theme you’re currently using. You can open it up from the WordPress admin panel, or download it via FTP and edit it that way.

The header is where the following code will go.

So with that in mind, here is the way I’ve constructed my meta tags for this blog:

Don’t forget to put < and > on the ends of the meta tags before inserting them into the header file.

meta name="description" content="Make Money Online with Brandon Hopkins" /
The description is arguably the only important meta tag still being used by many search engines.

meta http-equiv="author" content="Brandon Hopkins" /
Do search engines care who the author is?

meta http-equiv="contact" content="brandonchopkins@gmail.com" /
I’m sure this is just spam food, but Gmail takes care of spam for me.

meta name="keywords" content="make, money, online, brandon hopkins" /
Some keywords for search engines to know what your site is about.

Here is my secret advice. It will work for your description and possibly your keywords, depending on how you structure your titles.
meta name="description" content="< ?php the_title(); ?>" /

This will take the description and add whatever the title of your post is. Just take a look at the page source for this post (Apple+U for FF Mac users).

See how the meta description of this post matches the post title…awesome. More descriptive words, but more importantly, we’re reducing the amount of duplicate content that every blog has. You now have unique meta description tags for every page on your site!

Let me know if you have any meta tag secrets!

By |April 17th, 2007|SEO/SEM|5 Comments

My Most Underused WordPress Feature – Post Slug

In a recent post by Glen Stansberry at ProBlogger, Glen talks about blogging’s most underused feature, setting up future posts.

For two of my blogs I actually use that feature pretty often. Every so often something spurs me to start writing for one of these sites, and once I’ve posted 3 posts that day, I start using the future posts option. I schedule one post every day until I run out of steam. Once the steam subsides I usually have 3-5 days worth of posts.

Wordpress Post SlugFor me, the most underused WordPress feature is definitely the post slug. The post slug allows you to set the URL for each post, regardless of what the post title is. Here is an example.

This post is titled, “My Most Underused WordPress Feature – Post Slug”. However I know that most people are going to search for those exact words. Those are words for the readers. For my post slug I want something that is for Google and other bloggers who might link to this post.

My post slug is, “how-to-use-wordpress-post-slug”. So as you are reading this post, look up at the URL. You should see, “http://www.brandon-hopkins.com/how-to-use-wordpress-post-slug“.

The reason I did this is because every little bit of SEO helps. Google will see the url and when someone searches for “How do I use WordPress post slug”, or “WordPress Post Slug uses”, or “How to post slug” they’ll find this post.

There are many other ways to use a post slug. Post slugs are especially wonderful if you post short titles without any keywords, or you post really long titles that mess up your url structure.

Can you imagine seeing this URL on a blog:

http://www.brandon-hopkins.com/my-most-underused-wordpress-

feature-post-slug-how-to-create-post-slugs-and-the-most-

effective-ways-to-use-them/

Pretty ridiculous. But when using post slugs I can make that URL anything I want.

By |April 14th, 2007|SEO/SEM|5 Comments

5 Things I Learned About Diggers

So you want to know how to get Dugg to the front page of Digg right? Of course, who doesn’t. But just to let you know, the traffic is great, but apart from that, you might not realize the following things that I’ve learned in the last few days about Diggers (Digg users):

1. Diggers don’t click many ads. I know, everyone already knew this, but I know why they don’t click ads. Digg users don’t click ads because Diggers are title driven. Digg users read a title and want to find that information, and only that information.

In addition to that, they are contextually ad-blind. Unless your ads stand out, this crowd won’t click. And if they do stand out, make sure they aren’t obtrusive, Digg users don’t like annoying and obtrusive.

2. Diggers navigate throughout your whole site. Contrary to popular opinion, Diggers don’t just read your article and hit the back button. Every single page in my site was viewed by at least 10 people, that includes category pages and archives. Some pages were viewed over 600 times.

3. Diggers DO sign up for your RSS feed. I have only given this site it’s new SEO vision in the last two weeks. Before that is was just my personal stuff, and of course had 0 RSS subscribers. Last week the subscribers peaked at 32. Today they are at 236! Who knows what tomorrow will hold, maybe more, maybe less. We’ll find out soon.

4. Diggers have good memories. Before my Digg article, nobody knew my name or searched for my name. So far, in 3 days 73 people have searched for and found me by name. I don’t know if that is good or bad, but I can’t hide here any more!

5. Diggers leave nice comments. All but one of my comments seem to be positive. The only one that was borderline was someone named MASA who said, “So wait, if you know so much about SEO and Page Rank then why do you have a PR of 2?” Of course, if he would have read anything on this blog he would have know that as of two weeks ago, this blog was just personal and I didn’t care if anyone read or linked to it. PR 2 is pretty good without doing anything, right? 🙂

So I don’t think I can exploit this digg for any more posts. Here are my Digg related posts over the last few days:

Digg Killed Me and I Liked It

How To: Get a SEO Blog to Digg’s Front Page – The 6 C’s

Add Digg This! Button to WordPress Posts and Float Right

The original: 66 Ways to Build Links in 2007

By |March 23rd, 2007|SEO/SEM|5 Comments

How To: Get a SEO Blog to Digg’s Front Page – The 6 C’s

Yesterday because of this article, I was Dugg all the way to the front page. Of course I liked it, but HostGator couldn’t handle it. Since then, I’ve learned a few things about getting a blog to the Digg front page, even a SEO/SEM blog. So here it is, How To: Get a SEO Blog to Digg’s Front Page.

Your title must be CLEAR.

If you want Digg to show you the love, your title must accurately reflect your content. Here is my recommendation, write the article, then write the title. If your title does not EXACTLY reflect the content and what Diggers expect to find in the content, you’ll never make it to the front page because you’ll get buried.

Your article must be CONCISE.

As I told a friend yesterday, nobody cares about you. It’s unfortunate, but true. Before this article, nobody knew my name. Today Google has referred 73 people searching just for “Brandon Hopkins”, all because of this article. However, that still doesn’t mean people care about ME, they just want good content. If I were to start writing about my soon to be born baby, I would start losing subscribers and traffic would drop. So my article (and whole site) must be concise and to the point. Drop the fluff and increase the usable content.

CONTENT is the MOST important.

Digg users don’t care how creative your title is, as long as it matches the content. My title was blatantly SEO (66 Ways to Build Links in 2007), but that didn’t make people bury it. Why? Because my content provided 66 actual linkbuilding techniques with examples. My content DID NOT have a bunch of affiliate links (none actually), it wasn’t written so that I could get more subscribers or make money. I just wanted the links that came with a well written and researched article. I also needed to prove to myself that I could make the front page of Digg anytime I put in some effort.

Your article must be COMPLETE.

As I began writing this article, I had planned on having 101 ways to build links, not just 66. When I got to 63, I was stuck. I spent the next 3 days working on the last 38 linkbuilding tips, but came up dry. Was my article incomplete? Absolutely not, I just changed the number in my title. The point is that my article, although not what I expected originally, was indeed a complete resource.

Stop trying to CASH in on the actual article.

Money may be your motive, but you need to keep it in perspective. My CTR right now through Adsense is less than .3%. Horrible. However, I don’t have an adsense block on that article, why? I know Diggers won’t click it, and they’ll actually be turned off by the blatant ad. In turn I believe that it is best to not add adsense to a Digg article. Keep it in your sidebar, or in your footer, but not contextually. Since this Digg article will bring you so much traffic and repeat visitors, you’ll be able to cash in at a later time.

CONTEMPLATE your article for a few days.

Don’t ever rush your masterpiece. Remember that you have spent many days working on this article, and I know you’re excited, but read it over a few times. Print it out and read it again. Have a friend read it. Make sure everything links to the right spot. Then sit back and re-read the intro. Most Digg submissions have the beginning of the article copied directly to the “Description” box. If you’re first few sentences don’t grab the reader, they won’t see your article. As I said, I wrote the whole article then contemplated for about 3 days trying to brainstorm, rewriting the intro (I had 3 good introduction paragraphs, and picked the best one) checking for mistakes, editing the title, etc.

So was it worth all the work? Well, not only is my article one of the few SEO articles that ever make the front page of Digg, I’m still on the Del.icio.us popular page (#3 currently with over 300 bookmarks), Technorati records 96 new links, and I’ve also seen over 12,000 unique visitors in less than 24 hours!

I guess it was worth the work! Buying 96 links at $10 per link, this article is worth $960. $960 divided by 5 hours worth of work is almost $200 an hour. That doesn’t even count the traffic and links I’ll still be receiving over the next few days and weeks!

By |March 22nd, 2007|Link Building, SEO/SEM|8 Comments